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A Year in Digital Intellignece

A Year in Digital Intelligence

Learn about an evolving set of key topical themes and industry best practices based on the performance of 603 brands across 14 sectors analyzed in Gartner L2’s Intelligence reports.

Related Research
Omnichannel 2018

Digital Goes In-Store

Digital Goes In-Store

Omnichannel 2018
Performance Distribution

Omnichannel - the seamless integration of digital and physical assets - has moved from an abstract concept to a central component of a successful retail strategy.

Fifty-two percent of brands evaluated year over year in Gartner L2’s Intelligence Report: Omnichannel 2018 have both enhanced their use of digital channels to drive store visits and made online shopping more convenient and advantageous . Leading retailers and direct-to-consumer brands balance their brick-and-mortar footprint with a digitally powered marketing and fulfillment strategy.

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Related Research
Content & Commerce 2018

Play Your Best Hand

Play Your Best Hand

Content & Commerce 2018
Performance Distribution

Content quality and brand equity remain the biggest drivers of desktop site engagement — direct and organic search result traffic accounted for over 75% of total desktop site traffic in 2017.

Brands have taken notice and prioritized creating a frictionless, intuitive site experience for consumers — 40% of analyzed brands now link to product pages from the four assessed content types (blogs, product-matching tools, tutorials and videos), up from 20% last year.

Share of Site Traffic by Channel on Desktop
2017, n=106 brands
Related Research
Social Platforms & Influencers 2018

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Social Platforms 2018
Performance Distribution

Following a year of mounting hype, influencers have finally hit the mainstream. According to Gartner L2 analysis, nine out of 10 brand Instagram handles mentioned influencers at least once between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

However, influencers’ payoff has not met brands’ expectations on their own brand handles. In fact, the average engagement lowered when these handles mentioned influencers. On the flip side, brand mentions in influencer posts lifted engagement by 14%. The top-performing brands maintained a roster of regular influencers across the spectrum of follower counts, highlighting influencer content that amplified overall brand aesthetic.

Influencer Impact on Brand Handle vs. Brand Impact on Influencer Handle on Instagram
April 2017 - March 2018, n = 2,649 Influencers and 376 Brand Handles
Size of bubble corresponds with number of influencers.
Related Research
Retailers & Marketplaces 2018

Retailers Take The Cake

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Retailers Take The Cake

Marketers are expected to have an edge over retailers in branded search, as Google gives preference to brand-owned results by discounting the cost of bidding on brand-owned terms — a direct result of stronger search term relevance.

However, retailers own more search results than brands. Gartner L2 found that analyzed retailers collectively own almost three times more paid mobile results than brands do. Depending on their distribution strategy, brands are incentivized to cede paid search to retail partners and focus on linking brand-owned content and traffic to conversion points.

Ownership of Showcase Shopping Ads on Branded Google Search Results
July 2018, n = 90 Brands (Top 10 Across Nine Sectors), 49,187 Search Results on 1,193 Branded Keywords
Brands
Retailer
Related Research
Data & Targeting 2018

Breakdown the Bullseye

Breakdown the Bullseye

Data & Targeting 2018
Performance Distribution

Brands realize the importance of relevant messaging, with 92% of brands identifying personalization as a top priority. However, they continually struggle with execution: in 2018, only 23% of analyzed brands personalized their websites with user data-based recommendations.

Leader brands in Gartner L2’s Data & Targeting report not only outperform in data capture, but also effectively deploy user data. Top players more frequently pursue targeted marketing across email, social and display advertising; 69% deploy targeted content on all three channels, compared to 43% of Laggards.

Adoption of Data Collection vs. Deployment
August 2018, n=103 brands
Collects Segmentation Data
Implements Personalized Content
Related Research
Mobile Marketing 2018

Mobile Moves Down The Funnel

Mobile Moves Down The Funnel

Mobile commerce continues surging in the U.S., propelled by numerous factors including better connection speeds, bigger and more interactive screens, and increased retailer support for conversion-boosting mobile payments and buy buttons. To capture mobile’s full potential as a conversion point, brands need to consider ad links as a crucial bridge from the top to bottom of the funnel.

More and more frequently, DTC brands link their ad creatives directly to their sites. In both 2016 and 2017, 68% of brand ads linked to the brands’ own sites. However, certain sectors are ramping up their ad linking strategy. For example, 67% of activewear ads in 2017 linked to a brand site, up from 60% in 2016, and department stores jumped from 53% to 72%.

Distribution of Landing Page Destinations by Vertical
2017, n = 562,882 Creatives Among 321 Brands With Ad Linking Strategies
Brand Site
E-Tailer Site
Other
Gartner L2 Digital Intelligence Research

Reports Released in 2018